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Apr 26, 2010

Ding & Dang Canyon Loop, San Rafael Swell

The Ding & Dang Canyon loop hike is located in the San Rafael Swell near Goblin Valley. The hike travels through two slot canyons, is 5 miles round trip and will take 3 to 4 hours to complete. The easiest route is to climb up Ding Canyon and descend Dang Canyon. There is some scrambling and minor downclimbing involved with this hike. Navigation is required and there is no developed or signed trail. Most obstacles can be easily bypassed if you spend a moment and look for a way around them. Some suggest bringing a 30' rope for lowering packs and possible emergency use. Ding & Dang Canyons are rated 2A II using the Canyon Rating System. We are probably average hikers and completed the trail in about 4 hours with our 3 kids. Coming down Dang was a bit of a stretch at times having to lower kids and packs down some of the drops. The kids loved this trail as it was never too boring and it involved a lot of climbing. Use caution at the dry falls and pick your route wisely. There was a strap anchored in the slickrock on one particular dry fall that made the descent much easier. Pictures do not do the 40 foot dry fall justice, even so, I think a work around would be possible had the strap not been there. Many of the drops can be navigated by wedging your back and legs on the walls and working your way down making it much easier. Use the trail map to the right along with these gps points to navigate the trail.

DD1 N38° 34' 36" W110° 49' 18"
DD2 N38° 34' 48" W110° 50' 08"
DD3 N38° 35' 47" W110° 50' 37"
DD4 N38° 35' 45" W110° 51' 09"
DD5 N38° 34' 58" W110° 50' 34"


Below is a map of the location of the trailhead in relation to Goblin Valley, Hanksville, and Caineville. The trailhead(DD1)is at N38° 34' 36" W110° 49' 18" on the GPS and is identified on this map This map shows that the back road between Hwy 24(halfway between Hanksville and Caineville) and the trailhead do not connect. They actually do connect and the road is passable by high clearance 2wd most of the time. We traveled this back road from our camp in about an hour, although it can be done quicker with a vehicle more suited to rough terrain. The trailhead was actually only 15 or so miles from our camp at swing arm city as the crow flies, but the road wanders quite a bit so going from Goblin Valley is the more direct route for most. We enjoyed the drive out on the back road, but chose to go through Goblin Valley and Hanksville on the way back. The time taken was about the same either way and you do not have to pay to get through Goblin Valley on this road.





16 comments:

  1. could a person get there in a sedan???

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  2. The road is very well maintained on the Goblin Valley side up to Little Wild Horse, it's still pretty good to Ding and Dang(fine for a sedan), but I think the pavement ended at Goblin Valley, then it get's a little rough after Ding and Dang trailhead. Between Ding and Dang and Factory Butte is high clearance 2wd, then you could take your sedan again from Factory Butte to Hwy 24.

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  3. Holy crap those are some of the nicest pics I've seen in a while! Just added this to my list of places to visit before I die!

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  4. Cool! thanks!, make sure to include Little Wild Horse Canyon on there too, just a mile or two up the road from ding and dang. It's another of Utah's best slot canyons, easier terrain to hike...more popular. Sometimes the lessor known, out of the way places get forgotten..because it's not part of a National Park or marked route or whatever, but it can be some of the best stuff there is.

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  5. Cool! Finally you are posting on something everybody can do, even dad, maybe. That water is deep.

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  6. Maybe you could post this hike on centralutahoutdoors.com, it's a website created by Jason Stevens for everybody to post their hikes, etc. on. You would be good at it. This post is way better than everybody elses!

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  7. I guess this site is just better;) I just realized that I put capitol reef on the video though..it's not in capitol reef, but the san rafael swell.

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  8. It's so cute that you took a hike with your kids. And I think it is nice that kids can have this kind of adventure at their early age. The pictures are so beautiful too.

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  9. having trekking in this type of place is very thrilling and adventurous...

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  10. i liked the comment from kay or is it k K FROM men in black who said it is so cute u took a hike with your kids, an adventure at such a early age>>.does she realize you have your kids on motorcycles from dusk to dawn mosat days of the week that you can escape from the office??????????

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  11. when compared to elders teenagers will enjoy these kind of tough places:)

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